For the transportation and logistics industry, peak season provides new opportunities and generates new revenue. Peak season can make or break the reputation of many businesses. Any mistakes or unforeseen obstacles in a supply chain can prove disastrous for the business of a global manufacturer or retailer. As a result, utilizing a third party logistic service can prove beneficial for supply chain operations during peak season.

Many manufacturers will usually add more resources to leverage during peak season, however, the problem with increasing technology and employees is that they will be under-utilized during the remainder of the year. And neither can companies overwork their employees. So what is a manufacturer supposed to do during peak season? One possible solution: working with a 3rd party logistics provider.

3rd party logistics companies provide manufacturers and large transportation and logistics carriers the flexibility needed to expand their supply chains as needed without disturbing other critical components of their business operations. Many 3rd party logistics providers are highly proactive to the constantly demanding environment of peak season. Combined with coordinating transport carrier services and delivery and pickup, the real-time tracking technology that 3PLs use allows manufacturers to be in touch with their products 24/7.

In addition, 3PLs are better equipped with dealing with the supply and demand of capacity in the market. As a freight solutions provider, 3rd party logistics providers can more conveniently respond to the demands of shipments requiring expedited freight service or be able to address other transportation hauling needs. Moreover, 3rd party logistics companies ensure that they are adequately prepared for any contingencies during peak season. For example, many 3PLs review their documented processes and work instructions, and train employees prior to peak season. Performance indicators are reviewed by both management and employees on a daily basis because peak season is a time to prove the 3PLs service capabilities.

When choosing a 3PL to work with, businesses should work with companies providing a range of domestic and international transport carrier services. In addition, a business should look at the partnerships a company is affiliated with—3rd party logistics providers that acquaint themselves with a variety of both domestic and global companies and associations are more likely to better handle shipment obstacles. Do your research and make sure that the 3PL has a wide array of both domestic and international licenses and certifications—expect the unexpected when shipping. Also, one should review the location and uses of the 3PL’s facilities—being closer to a shipping port, being asset based, and owning a warehouse can be quite helpful during peak season.

The peak season of 2012 is predicted to propel economic growth. The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) has proposed a $600 peak season surcharge to take effect on June 10, and many major shipping lines are supporting this proposal. The surcharge will be added to cargo moving Asia to the United States, and this fee will remain in effect for the duration of the peak season from June 1 to October 31st. While this surcharge will certainly increase rates, 3rd party logistics companies can offer competitive rates through their existing agreements with ocean carriers and other transportation providers.

Overall, as global manufacturers and other businesses gear up for peak season, they must make a cost-benefit analysis of tackling peak season on their own. The benefits of using a 3rd party logistics provider, like JZ Expedited Logistics, far outweigh the cost. 3PLs will provide competitive rates, superior service, and on-time delivery. Businesses that are smart enough to use a 3rd party logistics company are usually the ones who survive peak season unscathed.

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